Violent crime down for second year in a row

Citywide violent crime during the first half of 2008 was down 14 percent compared to last year and 27 percent compared to 2008, city leaders reported at a July press conference.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Police Chief Tim Dolan attributed the two-year decline to “proactive crime-fighting strategies and tools.” Those include a more aggressive approach to juvenile crime fighting, new technology such as gunshot sensors, special operations, increased traffic enforcement, community partnerships and more sworn officers on the streets.

From January through June of this year, 18 murders were reported throughout Minneapolis compared to 26 last year and 32 in 2006.

Rape, robbery and aggravated assaults had dropped an average of 13 percent since last year. Property crimes such as burglary and auto theft were down nearly 16 percent compared to 2007.

North Minneapolis, hit hard by crime in recent years, had seen the greatest crime reduction, with a 17 percent drop in violent crime since 2007 and 37 percent decrease since 2006.    

In Southwest, more recent crime statistics showing the year through July 21 indicate an 8 percent drop in violent crime compared to 2007 and a 20 percent drop compared to 2006.

But aggravated assaults were up nearly 6 percent over last year in Southwest, with 177 incidents this year compared to 167 in 2007. Southwest saw 193 reported aggravated assaults through July 21 in 2006.